Sleigh Bells Ringing
Northeast of a quaint, little town called Joria, WA, was Kolan Road. One cold, winter afternoon a group of women sat in the last sleigh, behind all the other prancing horses and gliding sleighs, the bells tinkling in the lightly falling snow. Up ahead, the women heard the singing of “Jingle Bells”. “Dashing through the snow, In a one horse open sleigh, O’er the fields we go, Dashing all the way, Bells on bob tails ring, Making spirits bright . . .” The women joined in the song.
The women were taking a 1-week sleigh ride from the 18th to the 24th, Christmas Eve. It was the first day of the ride, and the women had signed up for the ride at the last minute, so they were in the last sleigh, which they really didn’t mind, since they were able to watch everyone else in front of them.
There were three women in the sleigh: Kristie Coneel, Julie-Anne Rika, and Shellie, “Shell” Meran. They were all married and their husbands: Richard, Joe, and Dustin, were gone to the city to buy supplies for the winter, so they had decided to go on the tour. They had been friends since first grade. Kristie was pregnant; she was due in January. Her husband, Jackson, hadn’t wanted her to go, but she’d finally convinced him. The others, Julie-Anne and Shell, had been newlywed in August.
John and Dustin Acran sat in a small cabin by the roadside. The fire was crackling, and they sat at a crudely made table, planning their attack against the Sleigh Bells Mountain Rides. They knew the current group would be coming by tomorrow at about 3:00 P.M. They would steal their food, which they knew the mountain sleigh rides company had lots of with them, and also, money. They had lots of money – half of the amount that the tour company charged for each person touring. And they charged lots of money.
“Okay. So let’s plan to have a tree come crashing down in front of the last sleigh. It’s the largest and has all the food and money. And by the way, we want to do it in front of the last sleigh because then the others won’t even know we’ve stopped it,” John said to Dustin.
He replied, “Yep, that’d be the way to do it, John! So should we put our guns on them and demand the money? And then tie them up?”
“You’re getting smarter every day, Dustin! Yup, I knew you’d make a good outlaw! Your idea was exactly what I was going to suggest to you.”
Kristie sat in the sleigh, wondering why she had been so insistent about going on the sleigh ride. She was freezing and uncomfortable. Suddenly, she felt a pain that made her gasp.
“What’s the matter, Kristie?” Julie-Anne asked.
“I suddenly felt a pain, but then it went away.” Kristie replied. “I’m sure I’ll be fine. Don’t you worry . . .” she gasped again barely keeping out a yelp.
“Do you want me to go get the doctor, Kristie?” Shell asked.
“No, I don’t think so. I think I’ll be fine.”
“If you’re sure,” Julie-Anne replied.
That night, they, along with everyone else who was on the Sleigh Bell Mountain Ride stayed in a large cabin, with a fireplace at the end of each side of the building.
The next morning, after a hearty breakfast of bacon, eggs, and biscuits, they left on the ride. The women had a fun time, talking together. Kristie had had no more pains since the day before.
Late that afternoon, the women suddenly heard the cracking of a tree in their path. They had no clue what to do, so they sat there huddled together, frightened. The horses slowed to a stop.
“What in the world, John!” Dustin said. “Are you sure they keep the supplies in the last sleigh?”
“They did before,” John replied. “Now it looks like we have three women on our hands. I guess we may as well take them somewhere and demand a ransom for them so we can get something for all the work we did. A lot of money sounds purty nice!”
“Sounds like a good idea,” Dustin replied.
“We’ll jump out and put our guns on them, just like planned,” John said.
“All right,” came the reply.
“Ok, so what should we do? The rest of the group obviously didn’t know that we got stuck behind a fallen tree,” Shell said.“I guess we’ll have to wait for someone to notice that we’re not with them or find a way around . . .” Kristie was replying.
Suddenly, they heard a loud, harsh voice screaming, “Get your hands in the air!” All three women sat dumbfounded and turned to stare at two men who were approaching them.
“Didn’t you hear me?” questioned the man who appeared to be the leader of the group of two men. “I said get your hands in the air. And if you don’t, you do realize I have a gun trained on you, don’t you?” The women were startled by this and quickly raised their hands in the air. “Now, do you have any money?” The women dumbly shook their head.
“Don’t you lie to me,” the second man now interrupted, yelling. “That has to be a big fat lie that you don’t have any money! That’s not even possible.”
With a trembling voice, Kristie said, “Yes, it is possible. We had no reason to bring any money, so we didn’t.”
“Are you positive you don’t have any money?” John retorted. Julie-Anne, Shell, and Kristie quickly nodded yes. “Well, we’re going to search through you stuff and see if you have any money.”
“Well, you’re not going to find any.” Julie-Anne angrily said.
“You hold your tongue, girly. I don’t want to hear any more out of you.” Dustin said. The two men started to search through their stuff. When they were done, Dustin noticed that Kristie was pregnant.
“Oh, no,” Dustin whispered to John. “She’s pregnant.”
“Ain’t matter much to me,” John said.
Later that same day, with snow falling heavily, Julie-Anne, Kristie, and Shell were in the sleigh, being pulled by the horses. The bells had been taken off by the two outlaws, and they were not enjoying the ride this time. The outlaws were riding beside them on horseback. They were off the well used roads. The outlaws had been happy when it started snowing, but they had not been; the snow would cover the sleigh and horses’ tracks.
I hope you have enjoyed Part 1 of Sleigh Bells Ringing. Come back tomorrow for Part 2.
God's Peace & Love,